It feels as though we’re starting to reach some level of stasis amid this pandemic. Cases are still growing, but the wave has been manageable so far. The thought of having to hang out indoors for weeks on end (maybe even months) is daunting, but we’ve already done it this long, so what’s a little more time spent in company with ourselves if it goes a long way to preventing the overwhelming of hospitals and their still-limited supply of resources?
But, and it pains me to bring this up, it feels like the NBA season’s postponement is here to stay not just for a few weeks or even a few months. I’ve held out hope from the moment the league stopped play that a resumption of this season would be in cards no matter how long the wait. As society works through the response to the pandemic and questions what next steps will need to be taken whenever appropriate, I struggle to imagine a viable solution for getting even fan-free games into gear.
Perhaps the NBA will follow through on its idea of just dropping the equivalent of a gigantic sealed bubble around Las Vegas and restricting players there. Maybe they can follow the footsteps of the UFC and purchase a spit of sand and coral in the Pacific called Basketball Island. Until they come up with a way to safely have even 30-40 individuals (players+coaches+refs) in one spot, though, we’ll be stuck with televised H-O-R-S-E. A lot of televised H-O-R-S-E.
The New Colossus (Sports Illustrated)
This profile of the Antetokounmpo’s and how they’ve become institutions in the city of Milwaukee was interesting, though maybe a bit over-florid from time to time. The thesis is that the comfort the family has in Milwaukee as icons globally and locally will help push Giannis to sign an extension of some length and stick around. Even if the city hasn’t much in glitz and glamor it never seemed that big of a deal to infamous workaholics like the Antetokounmpo’s.
Whether it actually help sway the pen to a dotted line when the Bucks extend the contract his way remains to be seen.
It’s the smallest of things you tend to miss when something as “important” as basketball is taken away. Case in point: Watching clips of Eric Bledsoe really flashing defensive instincts that can tilt a possession sideways in an instant. All those moments of brief brilliance add up to a body of work that supplements Brook Lopez’s, er, being tall in the paint perfectly for what Milwaukee aims to do most nights.
Sigh, I just hope Eric is keeping fresh by running mock pick-and-roll defense in aisles of grocery stores he’s not supposed to be going to during the pandemic.
Longtime Bucks voice Jim Paschke is trying on a new lifestyle as he awaits the NBA’s return (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Turns out Jim Paschke in quarantine is a lot like the rest of us in quarantine: Adjusting, bemused by the strange absurdity of the situation, and yearning for a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
While the idea of this being a dry run at retirement does come up, it doesn’t seem like Paschke is all that interested in contemplating a serious step away from basketball just yet. That’s good news for all of us, especially as his pairing with Marques Johnson continues to prove itself one of the strongest duos in all of sports broadcasting.
Milwaukee’s three-point shooting, the Marcus Smart-Jaylen Brown factor, and why the Celtics beat the Bucks (Celtics Blog)
Does this count as the return of Know Your Enemy? If it technically doesn’t, I think I can waive the restrictions if only because these Boston basketbloggers had the audacity to assume the Celtics would beat the Bucks in a playoff series.
He Is Building a Home. And a Career in the N.B.A. (New York Times)
I’m aware this article is two months old, but the “Pat Connaughton has a miniature real estate ‘empire’” bit has given us such great fuel through the opening phases of the pandemic. We can’t stop now.
Bucks make history, Clippers slump - Stats Perform AI predicts rest of NBA regular season (Yahoo Sports)
This exercise is fine and good — indeed, I’m not sure if there’s ever been a time in humanity’s relatively brief existence where it was needed more — but I just wanted Yahoo to acknowledge who had the idea first:
The Social Media Section
...DJ, is that you with Giannis’s login info?
That’s enough nightmare fuel for one night
Patrick is doing social distancing right. Everyone should replicate Patrick.
Social distancing really isn’t that hard—family movie night is going great: pic.twitter.com/1vmXvAQ7BF— Patrick Casey (@PatrickCasey) April 9, 2020
Only appropriate I come back around and credit the Bucks for setting up this fund (which has ~$1 million already ready for distribution); even if the assistance only got employees through the regular season, that’s money well given by the organization
And remember folks, even if the season never kicks off again, we’ll always have broadcasted video games and Instagram Live hangouts where players talk about how much they love the game. That’ll get us through this brace with debilitating societal insecurity.